Atlanta, GA 2/3/2011 1:10:02 AM
News / Weather

Cyclone Yasi Reaches Coast of Australia

Tropical Cyclone Yasi reached the coast of Australia late Wednesday night. The category 5 storm began moving up the northeast coast of the state of Queensland. Yasi is expected to bring heavy rain and 143 mph winds.

Queensland's Premier, Anna Bligh, warned residents that it will be “a tough 24 hours.” “They need to prepare for the worst case scenario, and that might mean they have to be self-sufficient for a couple of days. We will do everything in our power to minimize the time people are without assistance, but that may not be in our control,” she said.

Many areas were evacuated ahead of the storm. Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Ian Stewart urged others to consider making their way to safer areas while they still can. "This is a life-threatening storm, and people need to understand that they have a final window of opportunity to self-evacuate," he said.

Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard told reporters yesterday that the Defense Force will help in the aftermath of the storm. “As the cyclone passes through and the hours that follow afterwards, arrangements are already being made to make available assets from our Australian Defense Force,” she said.

Yasi comes just weeks after Queensland was ravaged by severe flooding that left more than 20 people dead and thousands of homes damaged.


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